Car Buyer Labs

Car Buying Advice, Tips, and Reviews

Trucks are in a car dealership showroom.

Looking for a Truck? Let’s Get to Work

You might not even know you need a truck, but you see the billboards along the road—or the gleaming new trucks along the way—and you suddenly don’t know where to turn. We’ve all been there. It would be nice to have a truck, wouldn’t it? But it’s hard to make the transition from looking to buying. Here’s what you need to know about buying a new-to-you truck: do a little research first. It should work out in the end for you—the quality of used trucks on the market continues to amaze. Regardless of bad credit, car dealerships online are always there to help you find the perfect truck for your needs, whether you’re looking for new or used. 

Trucks are always good to have around, even if you do not use them for work. From hauling yard waste and rocks to towing your boat or trailer, having a truck in your garage is almost a necessity. And knowing what you are going to be using it for is one of the most important parts of your search. Let’s say, for the purpose of this article, that you will be using it for all-of-the-above. There’s no reason to have a truck, anyway, if it can’t do everything you might someday need it to do. So let’s take a look at where you can find the most truck for the best value.

The truck market can be overwhelming when you first start to look. With so many options now, where should you begin your search? The full-size truck market, in particular, has many options, but we’re going to limit our search to the companies who have been making trucks the longest: Ford, Chevy, Ram, GMC. In terms of towing and hauling capacity, these are four trucks where you can find the value you are looking for.

Ford F-150

Buying a used Ford truck means that you will save thousands of dollars but might miss out on some of the recent updates, such as improved towing and hauling capacities, and a little extra power in some of the optional engines. But the F-150 still ranks near the top of its class in all of these categories. The 2019 F-150 also comes in below the average starting cost for a full-sized truck, at just $28,000. 

But if you are looking for the best value in a Ford truck, look at the twelfth-generation F-150, which includes the models years 2009–2014. These are the most recent years when Ford was using a steel construction before adopting aluminum components. You might not get the best gas mileage with the earlier years, but that might not be what you’re looking for. With Ford, you will find towing capacity at the top of its class, and since this is one of the things you value in a truck, you can’t go wrong with a Ford.

The Ford F-150 also has a variety of engine and trim levels on the market, so any dealership will be able to help you find exactly what you are looking for.

A silver 2017 Ford F-150 is parked in a grassy field.

Chevrolet Silverado 1500

The base MSRP for the 2019 Chevrolet Silverado is about the same as the Ford F-150, at around $28,300, so there’s not much difference in price. The Silverado is also right up there in terms of towing and hauling capacity. Though, the F-150 has the upper edge there. What sets the Silverado apart from other trucks is it is an incredibly well-rounded truck. Known for its smooth ride and sleek interior, the Silverado does everything right. 

The Silverado also offers the Z71 off-road package, with hill descent control, skid plates, a transfer case, and a locking differential. There’s a lot to like about the Silverado, and ultimately, when truck shopping, sometimes it just comes down to personal taste—this is a nice-looking truck.

Ram 1500

You’ll find the 2019 Ram 1500 at a competitive price as well, so there’s not much difference again in the MSRP of the trucks we’ve looked at so far. Where the Ram differs is both its strength and weakness. With one of the best looking interiors in its class, it can be seen as more of a luxury vehicle than a work truck. It is also one of the heavier trucks in its class. So, while it has the smoothest ride of all of the trucks, it sacrifices payload capacity. But, If you find a Ram that is loaded with all of the interior options, you’ll find the payload rating drops dramatically.

A Ram is a great truck if you are looking for luxury amenities. It is considered one of the most pleasurable trucks ever made and is equipped with the best technology in its class. This is going to be a great option if you are looking for a stunning interior and quiet ride. But if you’re looking for a truck with more utility, ask your dealership about the previous years’ models, where Dodge made its name as a go-to for work trucks.

GMC Sierra 1500 

Where Ram and Ford are known for their well-designed and comfortable interiors, the GMC Sierra is not primarily concerned with this. Known as the pricier option to the Chevrolet Silverado in General Motors line of trucks, the Sierra does, in fact, come in as the more expensive option in this field. With the 2019 Sierra, GMC turns its focus toward making a straightforward truck. The issue with the Sierra, however, is that if you are after towing capacity, GMC is pointing you toward their 2500 models, or heavy-duty trucks. The Ford F-150, for example, has a towing capacity that is 1,000 pounds more than the Sierra. 

A red 2017 GMC Sierra, similar to the trucks you'll find when looking for Bad Credit Car Dealerships online, is driving on a grass-lined road.

At the top of the GMC Sierra lineup, the Denali is where you will find the many options that define the Sierra: a standard digital display integrated into the gauges, an 8.0-inch touch screen with navigation, 22-inch wheels, a surround-view camera system, and a rear camera mirror. The Sierra Denali also offers a trailer camera system with a camera mounted on a trailer and connected to the truck, so that you can monitor traffic at the rear, at the hitch connection, and even objects in the bed.

What Now? 

Hopefully, this has given you a jump start on your search for a full-size pickup truck. What’s best to keep in mind when looking for a truck is what exactly you will be using it for. Once you narrow down your needs for a half-ton truck, the search will be much easier. Especially while using an online car dealer, you’ll have more of a selection to look through. And just because you visit an online car dealer doesn’t mean you won’t be able to ask a question, a sales staff member will be able to answer any questions you may have. While looking through the vast online selection, make sure you know what you want in a truck. You don’t want to be looking at a Denali, for example, if all you need the truck for is to tow your boat to the lake, and you certainly don’t need to spend money on a fancy interior if you plan on using your truck as a work truck. But if you expect only needing the truck for light-duty work, maybe a truck like the  Ram 1500 is the perfect option.

Regardless of your needs, there are a lot of full-size trucks on the used car market, priced reasonably, and just waiting for you to hurry up and get to work.